A Quick Look at the History of Slot Machines

Slot machines can be found in almost all casinos in the world, both online and land-based casinos. They are very popular and simple and provide excitement and an exhilarating game filling the player with anticipation.

Their history goes back to the 1800s when they were invented. The machines featured spinning reels, a slot where the coins were put into, and a lever located on the side that the player would pull to start the game. Its appearance earned it its informal name: the ‘one-armed bandit.’

Over the years, slot machines have continued to evolve into the modern online slots which are available in most online casinos. You can find more on Casinomatcher. This article features the history of slot machines and how they have evolved over the years.

The Invention of Slot Machines

There are two different accounts of the original invention of slot machines.

Liberty Bell slot Machine

One suggests that the first slot machine was the Liberty Bell slot machine invented by Charles Fey, an American, in 1887. It featured three spinning reels that had pictures of playing cards and five symbols: a spade, horseshoe, heart, diamond, and a picture of a cracked Liberty Bell.

To play the game, the player pulled the lever on the side of the machine. They would then watch the reels spin until they came to a stop. When the reels stopped, if three bells were lined up, the player would win a jackpot of 50 cents.

Sittman and Putt Poker Machine

The other account says that Fey invented his machine later, in 1895, and that in 1891 Sittman and Putt had inaugurated their machine. Theirs was based more on poker, and it featured five drums and 50 card faces. Its popularity grew, and soon enough, most casinos had the machine.

Modern Slot Machines

The Operator Bell

Created in approximately 1910, the Operator Bell was very heavy. It weighed 100 pounds and varied slightly from the Liberty Bell. Its neck hole was, however, wider and more fitting.

Its most significant and innovative distinction was that it had pictures of fruits on the reels instead of the spades, hearts, diamonds, and horseshoes that the Liberty Bell had. Many slot machines were produced during this time.

It was in this time of the Operator Bell that America banned slot games, and slot firms produced different symbols. At this time, the BAR symbol was first created.

Advancement of Slot Machine Technology

As technology advanced, traditional fruit machines and slot machines became outdated. They were replaced by electromechanical slot machines, which were invented in the 1960s, with the most popular being Bally’s “Money Honey.” In the 1980s, electrical machines took over and soon gave way to true electric machines that had electric microprocessors to power them.

With these slot machines, bigger bets could be placed, thus you could get larger payoffs. Slot machines continued growing in popularity, and practically every casino owned one or several machines. Currently, casino income from slots ranges between 65% and 80% of the total casino income.

Bally’s Money Honey

The Creation of Money Honey in 1963 was the development of slot machines. While previous models featured tubes in the machine that were stacked with coins, Money Honey featured an electric hopper designed explicitly for counting coins. The tubes could hold much more money, and the payouts became more spectacular.

Fortune Coin Slot Machine

The Random Number Generator, introduced during this time, made slot games even more popular and exciting. The Random Number Generator is a computer programmed to produce random outcomes of the spin by stimulating the spinning reels.

The one-armed bandit machines soon disappeared, and the machines could now be started by pressing a button. The manufacturers now made machines with different symbols and themes and several paying lines.

The Random Number Generator also led to the creation of progressive slot machines. When you’re playing progressive slots, you get the payout gathered in many machines because several slot machines from several casinos are linked electronically. All money played on any of the machines enters the jackpot, which keeps on growing until someone wins.

The Birth of Online Slots

Online slots mark the highest evolution of slots. The invention of online casinos led to an advancement of slot games. Slot machines are now deemed as the flagship game of online casinos. With thousands of players playing slot games globally in the comfort of their homes, online slot games provide everything a physical machine can offer.

Additionally, the user interface like lights and colours in the online games are better than those in any land-based slot games, and everything is always fair if the site you’re using is licensed.

Progressive online slot games have different casinos linked together. This means that thousands of players feed into one jackpot until one person wins. Numerous instances of someone walking away with thousands of dollars have been witnessed, all attributed to the progressive online slot games.

Online slot games offer lower bets, as low as 1 cent; thus, the average player can invest a little and still have a good game. Additionally, they provide multi-payouts and multi-reels with some having as many as 100 payouts.

Challenges Facing Online Gambling

  • The traditional online gambling is often regulated and relies on payment and withdrawal systems that are not flexible. The regulations of the market hinder providers from joining the market, while the inflexible withdrawal and payment systems may make the consumers distrust the service providers, disrupting the market.
  • The blockchains that leverage online gambling markets also face some challenges. These include data transaction fees, low network speeds that cause limited bandwidth, content scalability, and users who are not familiar with cryptocurrency.
  • The content scalability and limited bandwidth capacity kill the fun in gambling while unfamiliarity with cryptocurrency and the transaction fees make it hard to attract new customers.


With computer technology that is always advancing, the possibilities of online slot games are endless. Online casinos can change the user experience and graphics at any time to provide satisfaction and a variety of games to the players.

Slot machines have come a long way. From the Liberty Bell slot machine to a wide range of online slot machines available today.  While one-armed bandits may be long gone, the possibilities of advancements of slot games are infinite. Technological advancement evolves slot games, and what we have today may be history someday.

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